Pioneers fall 4-0 at Lenoir-Rhyne in SAC opener

Pioneers fall 4-0 at Lenoir-Rhyne in SAC opener

HICKORY, N.C. --- Four different players scored goals for Lenoir-Rhyne University in a 4-0 win over Tusculum University in South Atlantic Conference women's soccer action Saturday afternoon at the Moretz Complex.

Neve Duston, Aqsa Mushtaq, Abigael McGarel and Madi Kyle scored for the Bears (6-0-0, 2-0-0 SAC), who have outscored their opponents by a 24-2 margin in their six victories to open the season. Lenoir-Rhyne outshot Tusculum by a 22-8 margin and had all 10 corner kicks awarded in the match.

Goalkeeper Cecilie Ting Mortensen was able to make a season-high 10 saves for the Pioneers (3-3-0, 0-1-0 SAC), who were playing their sixth of nine consecutive road matches to open the season.

The Bears applied pressure on the Pioneers from the opening whistle, as Duston put the first shot on goal against Mortensen just 40 seconds into the contest. In the 12th minute, Duston converted for her third goal of the season to give Lenoir-Rhyne a 1-0 lead at 11:17.

Mortensen would keep the Bears off the board by making saves on Allie Zueger in the 16th minute, Mushtaq twice in the 17th minute and Duston again in the 24th minute. Another shot off the foot of Christina Shimschock was saved by Mortensen in the 28th minute, but the Bears were able to add onto their lead at 37:56 as Mushtaq scored her fifth goal of the year off an assist by Kyle.

Just under three minutes later, the Bears went up 3-0 after being awarded a penalty kick. McGarel stepped up to the spot and finished for her fifth goal of the year with 4:20 left in the first half, and Lenoir-Rhyne went to intermission with a three-goal lead and a 15-1 edge in shots. Tusculum's only shot came in the 18th minute as Elise Gallo was denied by LR keeper Charlotte Warner.

Tusculum picked up the attack in the second half, with shot attempts from Jamila Thombs in the 47th minute and from Tina Haig in the 57th and 60th minutes. LR came back with three shots on goal in a 2 1/2 minute span, including two from Mushtaq, that Mortensen was able to stop.

The Bears increased their lead to 4-0 at 83:39 as Kyle scored her second goal of the season, assisted by Scarlett Kelly. Tusculum had the final shot of the contest with 4:39 left as Chelsea Sheerin was wide of the target.

Warner made three saves to record her fourth shutout of the season and second in as many SAC matches. Haig, Sheerin and Thombs each had two shot attempts for the Pioneers, while Mushtaq led the Bears with seven shot attempts and five on goal.

Tusculum will step out back out of conference play for a trip to Lee for a matchup with the Flames on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.